THE EFFICIENCY TRAP FINDING A BETTER WAY TO ACHIEVE A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FUTURE

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The Efficiency Trap

Author : Steve Hallett
ISBN : 9781616147266
Genre : Science
File Size : 25.52 MB
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One of the key tenets of the environmental movement is the need for greater efficiency in our use of dwindling natural resources, especially coal, natural gas, and oil. If our products are designed to be more energy efficient, so the thinking goes, our environmental impacts will be reduced and our fossil fuels will last longer. In this surprising new look at sustainability and conservation, environmentalist Steve Hallett argues that this thinking is fundamentally flawed. In fact, based on the example of coal use throughout the Industrial Revolution, more efficiency leads to more consumption, faster depletion of resources, and ultimately more stress on the planet. This is the efficiency trap. How do we avoid this trap? Hallett suggests that we focus on protecting natural resources, ecosystems, and social systems by making them more resilient. Knowing that we have reached limits to growth, we should work to decentralize energy-delivery services to give homes and communities some measure of independence. We can also build more sustainable food systems by diversifying the food-production landscape to address the vulnerabilities of the current supply chain. Efficiency does have its place in specific areas such as recycling and home insulation, but it will not work as a long-term approach to our energy dilemma. Yet recognizing the inevitable limits to our growth and the shortcomings of our current approach to addressing our dwindling resources is a necessary first step toward the establishment of sound environmental policy. This realistic appraisal of current environmental thinking will challenge environmentalists and industrialists alike. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Science

Planetary Economics

Author : Michael Grubb
ISBN : 9781317934462
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 40.55 MB
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How well do our assumptions about the global challenges of energy, environment and economic development fit the facts? Energy prices have varied hugely between countries and over time, yet the share of national income spent on energy has remained surprisingly constant. The foundational theories of economic growth account for only about half the growth observed in practice. Despite escalating warnings for more than two decades about the planetary risks of rising greenhouse gas emissions, most governments have seemed powerless to change course. Planetary Economics shows the surprising links between these seemingly unconnected facts. It argues that tackling the energy and environmental problems of the 21st Century requires three different domains of decision-making to be recognised and connected. Each domain involves different theoretical foundations, draws on different areas of evidence, and implies different policies. The book shows that the transformation of energy systems involves all three domains - and each is equally important. From them flow three pillars of policy – three quite distinct kinds of actions that need to be taken, which rest on fundamentally different principles. Any pillar on its own will fail. Only by understanding all three, and fitting them together, do we have any hope of changing course. And if we do, the oft-assumed conflict between economy and the environment dissolves – with potential for benefits to both. Planetary Economics charts how.
Category: Political Science

Natural Resources Available Today And In The Future

Author : Erik Dahlquist
ISBN : 9783319542638
Genre : Science
File Size : 49.46 MB
Format : PDF
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This book focuses on providing an overview of all our available natural resources, considering the sustainability and potential for power generation of each. Energy efficiency prospects of each natural resource are examined in the context of society’s key energy needs- Heating/cooling, Electric Power, Transportation and Industrial Production. Geography, climate and demographics are all discussed as key vectors impacting the comparative opportunities for self-sustenance around the globe. The authors provide in-depth coverage of renewable energy upscale and energy efficiency improvements in industry and society within a historical context, including a keen look at the variable effectiveness of different policy tools that have been used to support the transition away from unsustainable resource use. Finally, suggestions for more sustainable futures are provided, from improved policy measures, to new technological horizons in areas from offshore wind and marine energy to biogas and energy storage.
Category: Science

The Sugarcane Complex In Brazil

Author : Felix Kaup
ISBN : 9783319165837
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 39.48 MB
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This book offers an in-depth analysis of the Brazilian sugarcane complex with a special focus on technological advances that promote sustainable development. It first examines the question why sugarcane-based ethanol from Brazil is considered a superior alternative to fossil fuel compared to other biofuels produced on an industrial scale and subsequently analyzes the most dynamic areas within the sugarcane sector with regard to relevant actors, technologies and markets in order to determine if the sector can be considered an innovation system. The empirical research presented here is based on multiple research methods and derives its data from interviews with Brazilian experts of the sugarcane sector and by a thorough literature review. The book will be of special interest to researchers and practitioners interested in understanding the key mechanisms in successful innovation systems that promote a transition towards sustainable development and mobility.
Category: Business & Economics

Applied Minds How Engineers Think

Author : Guru Madhavan
ISBN : 9780393248005
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 33.98 MB
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A journey inside the minds that build our world. Dubai's Burj Khalifa—the world’s tallest building—looks nothing like Microsoft’s Office Suite, and digital surround sound doesn’t work like a citywide telecommunication grid. Yet these engineering feats have much in common. Applied Minds explores the unique visions and mental tools of engineers to reveal the enormous—and often understated—influence they wield in transforming problems into opportunities. The resulting account pairs the innovators of modern history—Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, Steve Jobs—with everything from ATMs and the ZIP code system to the disposable diaper. An engineer himself, Guru Madhavan introduces a flexible intellectual tool kit called modular systems thinking as he explains the discipline's penchant for seeing structure where there is none. The creations that result from this process express the engineer's answers to the fundamental questions of design: usefulness, functionality, reliability, and user friendliness. Through narratives and case studies spanning the brilliant history of engineering, Madhavan shows how the concepts of prototyping, efficiency, reliability, standards, optimization, and feedback are put to use in fields as diverse as transportation, retail, health care, and entertainment. Equal parts personal, practical, and profound, Applied Minds charts a path to a future where we apply strategies borrowed from engineering to create useful and inspired solutions to our most pressing challenges.
Category: Technology & Engineering

Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air

Author : David J. C. MacKay
ISBN : 0954452933
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 21.35 MB
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Provides an overview of the sustainable energy crisis that is threatening the world's natural resources, explaining how energy consumption is estimated and how those numbers have been skewed by various factors and discussing alternate forms of energy that can and should be used.
Category: Business & Economics

Life Without Oil

Author : Steve Hallett
ISBN : 9781616144029
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 24.74 MB
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By the end of the 21st century, our oil and natural gas supplies will be virtually nonexistent, and limited coal supplies will be restricted to only a handful of countries. The authors - an environmental scientist and veteran journalist - make abundantly clear that we must plan for a future without reliance on oil. They make a compelling case that the key determinant of our global economy is not so much the invisible hand of the marketplace but the inexorable laws of ecology. Although the coming decades will be a time of much disruption and change of lifestyle, in the end we may learn a wiser, more sustainable stewardship of our natural resources. This timely, sobering, yet constructive discussion of energy and ecology offers a realistic vision of the near future and many important lessons about the limits of our resources. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Political Science

Losing Our Cool

Author : Stan Cox
ISBN : 9781595586025
Genre : Science
File Size : 63.1 MB
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Losing our Cool shows how indoor climate control is colliding with an out-of-control outdoor climate. In America, energy consumed by home air-conditioning, and the resulting greenhouse emissions, have doubled in just over a decade, and energy to cool retail stores has risen by two-thirds. Now the entire affluent world is adopting the technology. As the biggest economic crisis in eighty years rolls across the globe, financial concerns threaten to shove ecological crises into the background. Reporting from some of the world’s hot zones—from Phoenix, Arizona, and Naples, Florida, to southern India—Cox documents the surprising ways in which air-conditioning changes human experience: giving a boost to the global warming that it is designed to help us endure, providing a potent commercial stimulant, making possible an impossible commuter economy, and altering migration patterns (air-conditioning has helped alter the political hue of the United States by enabling a population boom in the red-state Sun Belt). While the book proves that the planet’s atmosphere cannot sustain even our current use of air-conditioning, it also makes a much more positive argument that loosening our attachment to refrigerated air could bring benefits to humans and the planet that go well beyond averting a climate crisis. Though it saves lives in heat waves, air-conditioning may also be altering our bodies’ sensitivity to heat; our rates of infection, allergy, asthma, and obesity; and even our sex drive. Air-conditioning has eroded social bonds and thwarted childhood adventure; it has transformed the ways we eat, sleep, travel, work, buy, relax, vote, and make both love and war. The final chapter surveys the many alternatives to conventional central air-conditioning. By reintroducing some traditional cooling methods, putting newly emerging technologies into practice, and getting beyond industrial definitions of comfort, we can make ourselves comfortable and keep the planet comfortable, too.
Category: Science

Electric Renewable Energy Systems

Author : Muhammad H. Rashid
ISBN : 9780128006368
Genre : Science
File Size : 58.90 MB
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This derivative volume stemming from content included in our seminal Power Electronics Handbook takes its chapters related to renewables and establishes them at the core of a new volume dedicated to the increasingly pivotal and as yet under-published intersection of Power Electronics and Alternative Energy. While this re-versioning provides a corollary revenue stream to better leverage our core handbook asset, it does more than simply re-package existing content. Each chapter will be significantly updated and expanded by more than 50%, and all new introductory and summary chapters will be added to contextualize and tie the volume together. Therefore, unlike traditional derivative volumes, we will be able to offer new and updated material to the market and include this largely original content in our ScienceDirect Energy collection. Due to the inherently multi-disciplinary nature of renewables, many engineers come from backgrounds in Physics, Materials, or Chemical Engineering, and therefore do not have experience working in-depth with electronics. As more and more alternative and distributed energy systems require grid hook-ups and on-site storage, a working knowledge of batteries, inverters and other power electronics components becomes requisite. Further, as renewables enjoy broadening commercial implementation, power electronics professionals are interested to learn of the challenges and strategies particular to applications in alternative energy. This book will bring each group up-to-speed with the primary issues of importance at this technological node. This content clarifies the juncture of two key coverage areas for our Energy portfolio: alternative sources and power systems. It serves to bridge the information in our power engineering and renewable energy lists, supporting the growing grid cluster in the former and adding key information on practical implementation to the latter. Provides a thorough overview of the key technologies, methods and challenges for implementing power electronics in alternative energy systems for optimal power generation Includes hard-to-find information on how to apply converters, inverters, batteries, controllers and more for stand-alone and grid-connected systems Covers wind and solar applications, as well as ocean and geothermal energy, hybrid systems and fuel cells
Category: Science

The Flooded Earth

Author : Peter D. Ward
ISBN : 9780465021710
Genre : Science
File Size : 64.20 MB
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Sea level rise will happen no matter what we do. Even if we stopped all carbon dioxide emissions today, the seas would rise one meter by 2050 and three meters by 2100. This—not drought, species extinction, or excessive heat waves—will be the most catastrophic effect of global warming. And it won't simply redraw our coastlines—agriculture, electrical and fiber optic systems, and shipping will be changed forever. As icebound regions melt, new sources of oil, gas, minerals, and arable land will be revealed, as will fierce geopolitical battles over who owns the rights to them. In The Flooded Earth, species extinction expert Peter Ward describes in intricate detail what our world will look like in 2050, 2100, 2300, and beyond—a blueprint for a foreseeable future. Ward also explains what politicians and policymakers around the world should be doing now to head off the worst consequences of an inevitable transformation.
Category: Science